By ANNE CANALP
The Famagusta Eco-City Project was launched in Derinya in 2013 by University of Maine professor of peace, reconciliation and eco-studies Emily Markides, a former resident of the “ghost city”, and documented on film by her daughter Vasia and her team.
The three-day conference featured extensively in Cyprus Today and drew world attention with a plan for a “third state” based on sustainability, community, permaculture and green technology, where Cypriots could choose to live together in a modern and sustainable eco-city.
Vasia Markides said: “I was honoured and excited to pitch our documentary to a panel of experts from the Brooklyn Film Festival Exchange at the Kickstarter Headquarters in June.”
A trailer from the new film is now out and will be followed by a book, the Famagusta Eco-City Project.
Eastern Mediterranean University architect, project member and refugee Ceren Boğaç said: “Once you are born into a conflict area, without realising the facts of the situation, you develop uncertain feelings regarding the images you see around you. During my entire childhood, I was playing at the edge of the border, looking at the barbed wire without understanding what lay beyond this surreal curtain.”
Team member and economist Fiona Mullen added: “Efforts to solve the Cyprus problem are on their last legs. There is no big idea to get people excited about a solution, no big investment on the horizon to help them see it can bring real jobs and real wealth.
“With the right backing, the Famagusta eco-city could be that big idea. And the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development would be its natural investor.”
She added that the bank had a mandate for 40 per cent investment in green energy by 2020 and that the project had excited international interest.
Vasia Markides said she had been inspired by her mother to spend 11 years on research which had led to the “win-win” project which would be “a centre for peace and sustainability within a troubled region and a magnet for the younger generation”.
More information and a donation page can be found at www.ecocityproject.com/famagusta.
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